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Jazzmen Raul Neto and Ekpe Udoh celebrate Birthdays

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Wishing a very happy birthday to two important Jazz men, and getting ready to soak up the offseason Summer Sun

Utah Jazz v Houston Rockets - Game Five Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images

Over the weekend, the Utah Jazz celebrated a couple of birthdays. First off, our favorite backup center Ekpe Udoh turned 31 yesterday, May 20th.

Ekpe has been a great teammate, and a very positive influence in the community. His love of reading is palpable, and whether he is on social media or meeting with Jr. Jazz kids, his passion for reading shines through. If you are reading this, it is reasonably likely that you are also able to read books. In wishing a happy birthday to Ekpe, maybe we could honor his wishes and pick up a book in our free time. The book I will be reading is “Tell It Slant”, by Brenda Miller and Suzanne Paola. What book are you reading? Have any of you experienced the infamous “Ekpe’s Book Club” either in person or following along with their reading list, and if so, how have you enjoyed it?

I was unable to find a mix of his highlights of the full 2017-18 season, but here are his highlights from one of his better games against earlier in the year versus the Cleveland Cavaliers. Ekpe started for a depleted roster that was down one injured Rudy Gobert, and he stuffed the box score with a line that looks like it could have belonged to former Jazz man Andrei Kirilenko: 9 points, 7 rebounds, 3 assists, 6 blocks and 3 steals.

Raul Neto celebrated his birthday one day before Ekpe, on May 19th.

During this game in the following clip, Ricky Rubio and Rudy Gobert were both injured. It was mid-November, and the Jazz had a rough end of their first quarter. They ended up never regaining the lead. However, Raul valiantly fought, coming off the bench to put up a career-high 22 points in 19 minutes. He also got 3 rebounds, 1 assist, 1 steal, and 1 block.

The Utah Jazz’s team in the “NBA Math Hoops” league won the 2018 NBA Math Hoops National Championship. According to the NBA Math Hoops website, the program is described as “a fast-paced basketball board game, curriculum, and community program that allows students to learn fundamental math skills through direct engagement with the real statistics of their favorite NBA and WNBA players.”

I you would like to learn more about the curriculum or the game the students play, you can check out the video explanations on the site here.

Throwback to the 2017 NBA Combine. Donovan Mitchell turned some heads with his 6’10’’ wingspan, and his athleticism. Even in these interviews, he was always saying the right things. Donovan’s competitive nature showed, and he proved to many that he was worth a look as a lottery pick. Little did the league know what was going to happen next..

Louisville University’s Twitter account tweeted this out yesterday:

It seems fitting that 28 years after drafting Darrell Griffith out of Louisville, the Jazz were able to pick up another extremely talented shooting guard out of the very same school. Darrell “Dr Dunkenstein” Griffith was part of some of the best early years of Utah Jazz basketball, and we appreciate what he did for this franchise.

Summer is coming, I personally took a trip to California this weekend to see what was taking Summer so long to make its way over. After a nice conversation with the Sun, and a few applications of aloe vera, I’m here to say that although Summer in Utah follows “Mormon Standard Time”, it will get here eventually. Summer is a great time for basketball, with the NBA Draft, Free Agency, and Summer League to keep us somewhat sated until the regular season starts. I am particularly excited for the Draft, and am interested to see what Utah Jazz General Manager Dennis Lindsey has cooking for us. For those of you who are very timely and want an exact amount of time between this moment as you read these words and the 2018 NBA Draft, you can click here for a countdown timer I made that will give you the number of days, hours, minutes and seconds until this year’s Draft. Convenient, right?

While we wait for the draft, we might as well discuss the ongoing playoffs.

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Who do you have winning it all?

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    The Golden State Warriors
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What a riveting conversation.